Bleed on the brain a ‘strange injury’ – McHugh
Donegal footballer Ryan McHugh sustained a suspected bleed on his brain earlier this year in one of the incidents of concussion that led to his being stood down for eight weeks at the start of the national league and in late September for the remainder of the year.
McHugh was speaking yeaterday during the GAA/GPA All Stars trip to Philadelphia.
“I had two concussions,” he said. I had one at the start of the league this year and I took about eight weeks off; I had a slight bleed in my brain.
“It’s a strange injury,” said McHugh, “because looking at somebody you don’t think there is anything wrong with them.
“It was tough. After the time you have slight headaches and you know there is something wrong with yourself. After a week and a half you start to come round to yourself but the fear is if you pick up another one you can pick up serious injuries.
“I don’t know a lot about it, I was taking the advice of Dr Kevin Moran and that’s it.”
Donegal team doctor Moran also happens to be one of the GAA’s foremost experts on concussion and was one of the organisers of the first National Concussion Symposium in Croke Park in 2016.
McHugh sustained a further injury in a club challenge for Kilcar against Dublin’s St Vincent’s in September and was stood down for the remainder of the year. He found the rehabilitation much different than that for other injuries.
“It’s not like when you break a leg (and) you come back and try to build it up in the gym. It’s just rest really – all you can do, stay away from computers and that sort of stuff. That was what I was advised to do – difficult in this day and age.”
He agreed that with concussion it is necessary at times to protect players from themselves.
“I know the first time I had it, I actually didn’t get the symptoms and stuff until about two weeks later. So it was strange, it actually happened at training one night, I just felt ill and dizzy and stuff. I went to Kevin and Kevin pulled me out straight away. If Kevin wasn’t there, I could have trained on. So definitely I think that the more education people have the better.”